Whale Watching in Sri Lanka

Mainly three locations in Sri Lanka are ideal for whale watching: Mirissa in the southwest, Trincomalee in the northeast & Kalpitiya on the west coast
Whale Watching in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is considered one of the most popular whale-watching destinations in the world (Sankalpa et al., 2021). Presently, three locations in the country have become ideal for whale watching (Buultjens et al, 2016). These are Mirissa (and Galle) in the south-west, Trincomalee in the north-east and Kalpitiya on the west coast (Bandara & Bandara, 2019; Buultjens et al, 2017). The two species of whales in these locations are the blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and sperm whale [(Physeter macrocephalus) Bandara & Bandara, 2019; Buultjens et al, 2016].

The history of whale watching in Sri Lanka can be dated back to 1983 (Bandara & Bandara, 2019; Buultjens et al, 2016; Buultjens et al, 2017). Small-scale operators brought tourists to watch whales from the Trincomalee coast but its growth was constrained due to the Sri Lankan civil war that majorly arose in the north and east of the country in 1983 (Buultjens et al, 2016). The next phase of whale watching tourism began in 2008 at Mirissa after sightings of blue and sperm whales close to the shore in the previous year (Buultjens et al, 2016).

The prime viewing period of whales in Mirissa and Kalpitiya is between November and April, while May to October are the best months in Trincomalee (Buultjens et al, 2016).

Whale Watching in Sri Lanka .
See also

1) Bandara, T. and Bandara, T.P., 2019. Whale watching in Sri Lanka: Understanding the metadata of crowd-sourced photographs on FlickrTM social media platform. Sri Lanka J. Aquat. Sci, 24(2), pp.41-52.
2) Buultjens, J., Ratnayke, I. and Gnanapala, A., 2016. Whale watching in Sri Lanka: Perceptions of sustainability. Tourism Management Perspectives, 18, pp.125-133.
3) Buultjens, J., Ratnayake, I., Gnanapala, A. and Nedelea, A.M., 2017. Whale watching tourism in Sri Lanka: Visitor satisfaction and behavioural characteristics. Revista de turism-studii si cercetari in turism, (24). pp.22-33.
4) Sankalpa, D.M.R., Thilakarathne, E.P.D.N., Lin, W., Thilakanayaka, V., Kumarasinghe, C.P., Liu, M., Lin, M. and Li, S., 2021. Cetacean occurrence and diversity in whale‐watching waters off Mirissa, Southern Sri Lanka. Integrative Zoology, 16(4), pp.462-476.

This page was last updated on 11 April 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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